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Accessory Network to Buy Yak Pak

New parent to boost product range, geographical reach.

Accessory Network Group LLC is expected today to unveil its second acquisition in as many months with an agreement to acquire Yak Pak Inc., the New York-based marketer of backpacks, messenger bags and casual accessories for teens and young adults, WWD has learned.

Abe Chehebar, chief executive officer of ANG, and Stephen Holt, president of Yak Pak, couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

ANG, also based in New York, bought the rights to the Kooba leather handbag brand in late January, expanding the parent firm’s presence among higher-end retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Holt founded Yak Pak in 1989 and remains president of the firm. The company in the past has held licenses for brands including Dickies, Wrangler and Levi Strauss & Co., but in recent seasons has let them go, opting to focus on its own brand and picking up licensees in areas including luggage and stationery.

With licensees helping to expand its product range, and with the financial backing of ANG, the company plans to open its first store, in New York’s SoHo district, this spring. Its distribution is focused on teen specialty retailers, college bookstores, sporting goods stores and department stores and, according to sources, it is looking to build upon its international distribution, as well as its licensing activities and product diversification, following the acquisition.

ANG, founded by Chehebar in 1984, is among the top accessories firms in the U.S. In addition to Kooba, its prestige division includes Ghurka, the men’s leather goods brand it owns outright, and, through a licensing arrangement, Overture by Judith Lieber.

Yak Pak’s staff and operations will relocate to ANG’s offices at the Empire State Building.